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FAMILY LIFE: The trials and triumphs of a young family from Davao in Singapore

WE WERE sponsors at Nathan and Leah’s wedding, as Nathan’s family is very close to our family. Here is their story of who and what helped them cope and thrive.

Leah moved to Singapore in late 2007 due to a job opportunity. Our initial plan was that I’ll fly to Singapore after a year since I just got a job at an international bank in Makati. Early signs of a failing long-distance relationship urged me to follow only a few months after she left. We eventually got married in Singapore where we were granted Permanent Residency (PR). We were blessed with our first child, Anaiah, in the 5th year of our marriage.

My parents helped out when Leah gave birth before they migrated to Canada, then my in-laws also offered to stay with us to help. However, our faith got tested as immigration requirements changed a few times. First, Anaiah’s application for PR got rejected – and every year that we tried up until this time. She has a Long Term Visit Pass which requires annual renewals. Such implies a possibility of a disapproval every December. Second, the length of stay allowed for my in-laws got shorter and shorter. An Aunt-in-law freely offered to take turns in childcare duties. When such arrangements no longer worked, we were forced to eventually get a maid.

Our second child was born about a year and a half later. Besides the added expenses for the baby, we needed a bigger place to stay in. We were caught between renting out a full flat, or lease at least a 3-room flat and sharing with a tenant or two. Little did we know that our average income, poor saving and investing habits, plus our faith in our big God who provides equal being blessed with our own home. We were left speechless as He opened unexpected financial inflows, completely filled-out our dream home checklist, and made sure that our home was move-in ready just days before Aneshkah officially came into this world. Our finances were really short, but without sharing our intentions, some family members and relatives willingly offered to lend us money and mentioned terms which came close to a ‘pay when able’ agreement. God also led us to an honest and a non-pushy real estate agent. We found ‘the one’ on our 3rd viewing. Indeed He knows what we need even before we ask Him.

Today, we are amazed at the doors He has opened for us to serve through the available ministries at Church of Singapore. Our LifeGroup, composed of fellow young parents, has been instrumental in our spiritual growth as individuals and also as a family. I serve in the music ministry, something true of me since I was young and pray that I can pass on to our children. I was invited to preach twice in church, guest lead in two other LifeGroups, and lead our LifeGroup once in two months. The kids have joined and also led a few performances during special programs in church, and Anaiah even got to join the kids choir during an evangelistic concert last year. This pandemic has also introduced us to opportunities to be salt & light to our inner friends outside church – both in Singapore & overseas.

What’s next? Where to now? Stay in Singapore, move back to the Philippines (Manila or Davao?), or migrate elsewhere? We have no idea. Worried about tomorrow? Definitely, but knowing God holds our future gives us peace that transcends all understanding. What we’re sure of is that as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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